Preparing for Krewe du Vieux is eating my life. The parade is early this year, February 8th. We do everything ourselves so there are many details to attend to. The sub-krewe of Spank specializes in paper throws and we have printing deadlines up the wazoo. I get stressed just thinking about it. The result is worth it, but the journey is like a street in Lakeview, full of bumps, potholes, and unexpected surprises.


This will be my last segment about LSU football for the foreseeable future. Sports are fun to write about, especially when you have a rooting interest, but all good things must come to an end.

Unless you’ve spent the last week wandering in the wilderness, you know that the LSU Tigers won a resounding victory over the defending champion Clemson Tigers, 42-25. It was an exciting game whose thrills were lessened by endless commercials. I tend to DVR everything except the news, so it drove me crazy. It also made the game 7 1/2 hours long. #SARCASM.

If I had known Clemson’s mascot costume was so lame, I would have been even more confident about the outcome:

How could that Tiger beat our Tiger?

The Clemson mascot looks like the love child of Bloom County‘s Bill the Cat and Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes fame:

The low point of the big game was when they allowed the Impeached Insult Comedian on the field before kickoff. The cheers were muted in comparison to Saints games in the Dome. Some media outlets reported that there were chants of “four more years,” but people who attended the game insisted that it wasn’t so. Whatever. I refused to allow Trump’s presence to ruin such a festive occasion. 

I also refused to allow LSU’s White House visit wreck my enjoyment of their perfect season. Mercifully, the Tigers were spared the junk food buffet served past champions by this president*. They went in the morning for a relatively quick photo-op, listened to Trump babble incoherently, ate steaks at their hotel, and beat a hasty retreat to Red Stick. Trump, of course, mispronounced Coach O’s name as well as the parish from which he hails. Hopefully, that will cost him a few votes in Lafourche Parish but I’m not holding my breath.

It’s time for people to stop letting Trump ruin everything. Times *are* terrible and everything he touches turns to shit BUT as my First Draft publisher, Allison Hantschel, is wont to say, Not Everything Sucks. We need not wear sackcloth and ashes and take a pledge of misery because of President* Pennywise. That’s particularly true in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Carnival is an excellent time to kick the Current Occupant out of your head. Don’t be like the dude in Being John Malkovich, and let him take up residence in your brain, expel the evil fucker.

There was a bizarre post-game subplot involving former Tiger great Odell Beckham, Jr.Apparently, he felt stupid-happy after the win: handing out cash to LSU players and spanking a Superdome cop in the locker room. Here’s a rule to live by: NEVER TOUCH A COP WHILE THEY’RE ON DUTY. An unwanted touching is simple assault under Louisiana law. Ya feel me. Odell? Leave the spanking to experts like the Krewe of Spank:

The cop pressed, then dropped assault charges, and the NOPD arrest warrant has been rescinded. Here’s video of the incident:

There was consensus among New Orleans lawyers on Twitter that this was a prelude to a civil suit as Odell has the deepest player pockets in the NFL. I wonder if there’s already been a settlement. 

Spanks for the memories, Odell. Don’t do it again.

That concludes my last hurrah (for now) as a sports columnist. Let’s move on to a perennial subject: dysfunction in New Orleans.


The endless saga of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse is in its fourth month. City government is posturing, preaching, and posing but acting slowly as usual. It’s more than an eyesore or mark of civic shame, it’s a reminder of why I say TFC: This Fucking City every time something like this happens.

It’s not just the current mayor who is to blame for this latest catastrophe: the original sin of project approval occurred when Mitch Landrieu was in office. And City Hall’s love affair with real estate developers has been going on forever, but LaToya Cantrell is mayor so the buck stops with her. I wish she would stop speaking in jargon and gibberish. Her latest strange statement came last week: “The city of New Orleans has been unzipped.” Say what? I didn’t know the city wore pants…

At least the City rejected the developers’ preposterous plan to dismantle the collapsed structure piece by piece, which would have left this symbol of civic dysfunction standing until the end of 2020. Implosion is the new plan. It’s supposed to take place sometime between Mardi Gras and the French Quarter Festival. Oops, I forgot to say allegedly. Time is an elastic concept in New Orleans. There will be delays and dithering. TFC: This Fucking City.

There was a macabre twist to the Hard Rock Hotel story after I thought this column was finished and ready for submission. A tarp at the collapse site fell, exposing the remains of a dead worker. It’s unclear as of this writing if it’s one of the accounted for dead or a previously unknown casualty of this calamitous clusterfuck. What *is* clear is that the developers lied when they claimed they didn’t know the whereabouts of the bodies. What else are they hiding? TFC: This Fucking City.

The Cantrell administration is already making excuses as to why nothing can be done to cover the exposed corpse. Instead of trying to solve the problem, they’re scolding us not to take pictures of the remains. I, for one, am tired of City Hall addressing the citizenry as if we’re stupid children. I’m having flashbacks to Ray Nagin after Katrina and the Federal Flood. TFC: Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

It’s time for a proper investigation of this disaster. The city cannot allow such wanton disregard for human life to go unpunished. I hope City Hall will learn something from this tragedy but given its track record, I’m skeptical that they’ll take a tougher line with real estate developers in the future. TFC: This Fucking City.

Finally, during the 1979-1980 Iran hostage crisis, legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite augmented his usual closing words by referring to the hostage crisis. It’s time to paraphrase Cronkite and apply his closing to TFC in 2020: And that’s the way it is on the 102nd day since the Hard Rock Hotel collapse.

UPDATE: After the Cantrell administration spent almost 24 hours telling us how hard it would be to cover the body, another tarp was deployed:

Why didn’t they just tell us that they were working on it instead of lecturing us? TFC: This Fucking City.